EPISODE 10. Broadcast on September 6, 2013.
javabeans: We rejoin the crew with the grandpas (minus Soon-jae halbae) and the newly arrived Seo-jin and Sunny, as they prepare to head out. The halbaes want to eat mango shaved ice, and Sunny gets right on it, scrolling through her smartphone, which triggers this hilarious comparison to Seo-jin, who spent the last trip poring over maps and guidebooks. It becomes this whole analog-vs-digital thing, and even on the bus ride over, Seo-jin was flipping through a book while Sunny said, “I think there’s an app for that.”
girlfriday: Yeah her first instinct is to take a picture of something and use that to search, I’m already like, “Oh, that’s fancy.” Maybe Seo-jin can actually spend a whole day without guidebook in hand.
javabeans: Na PD points out an extra suitcase that was packed by Seo-jin’s mother, and it’s 23kg of food. Containers and containers of side dishes and snacks and kimchi. Ha, there’s one container labeled “snacks for drinking” that gets the halbaes’ attention, all, The woman knows us well.
girlfriday: I sort of love that she idiot-proofs the food. Not what it is, but what it’s meant for.
javabeans: It’s such a mom thing to do. All it’s lacking is a diagram indicating “Eat A with B, and let C rest before you add it to D.”
girlfriday: Gu halbae thanks Mom for all the food, and adds that “things” are going well for Seo-jinnie here, wink wink. Hee. You make us food, we marry off your son. It’s a win-win.
javabeans: As the group heads out, the young’uns lead the pack while discussing where to go today. The three grandpas trail, but today they’re lagging purposely so the couple can have their space. Geun-hyung halbae totally starts out by snapping surreptitious photos of them together, then goes for it blatantly. I swear, you can practically see him thinking how well this will turn out for the wedding slideshow. *click click*
girlfriday: You can actually hear him giggling as he snaps photos. It’s so cute.
javabeans: This is totally what this trip needed to kick it up a notch from the Europe trip, because now the halbaes become active plotters too, not just sheep (however entertaining) to be herded by a harried shepherd. We have additional storylines! Multiple agendas! Na PD, you evil genius!
girlfriday: I know, now if Seo-jinnie comes back for a third trip, I want another actress/singer somebody he has a crush on. We could do this all year.
javabeans: They arrive at Longshan Temple, and there’s a pretty long bit as we watch the locals praying and bowing, though it’s edited together well into a compelling documentary-like sequence. Geun-hyung halbae is in awe of the sight of the templegoers, while we see Gu and Sub halbaes praying for their families’ health and futures… and at the end of the rather elegantly edited sequence, Seo-jin and Sunny slip away to figure out a more pressing concern: dinner.
girlfriday: They decide on a restaurant that’s pretty far away, and Na PD needles them with the ominous warning that their choice will determine the rest of their night, as if it’s do or die.
javabeans: ‘Cause if they don’t like it, Seo-jin’s gonna be cooking back at the guesthouse! Sunny is more worried about the distance than Seo-jin is, which makes me think she’s seen Season 1, and worriedly breaks the news to Geun-hyung halbae. He agrees cheerfully, but it’s Il-sub halbae who hears “five minutes of walking” and spurs a a montage of all his cranky moments last time, complaining every time they had to walk. But! He says okay after all, and I’m like, is it ’cause she’s a pretty girl?
girlfriday: LOL. This is proof that all boys are the same, even when they’re seventy.
javabeans: Haha, Seo-jin marvels to Na PD that the whole thing feels different when Sunny does it. Na PD even admits that he made Sunny talk to Il-sub halbae because he was scared of the reaction if he were to say it.
girlfriday: It cracks me up, their twin reactions to it in real time.
javabeans: So the group starts out, and Il-sub halbae immediately orders Seo-jin to slow his walk. Then Sunny appears at grandpa’s side to walk with him and all is happy. Then she pauses to join Geun-hyung halbae when he peers at storefronts, and Il-sub halbae starts looking unhappy, and then HA!, we get the theme song to Jealousy (the 1992 drama).
girlfriday: Hahahaha. Are the halbaes going to fight it out for Sunny’s attention?
javabeans: Oh man, what a great song, and so appropriate: “Where the heck are you looking? I’m standing right here in front of you. Don’t make me wait too long, don’t think I’ll just be smiling here…”
girlfriday: With every line of the song, Il-sub halbae is getting crankier and crankier. And then Seo-jin starts to notice, and now he’s sweating the tension. It doesn’t seem fake either, because Il-sub halbae gets pissed and mutters that it’s rude.
javabeans: It’s worse when Na PD gives Seo-jin this LOOK and quietly murmurs, “You know they’re both angry, right? For waiting so long?” I do sort of love that because Sunny is here, the boys have banded together.
girlfriday: I know, it’s suddenly a different dynamic, and Na PD is no longer the enemy. I think this is closer to how they must be in real life.
javabeans: Gu halbae shakes it off readily and Geun-hyung halbae apologizes for making him wait. But it’s Il-sub halbae who’s silent and frosty, and Seo-jin is SO aware of it but can do nothing. He has this nervous tic of drinking water when he’s stressed, so all you see is him shooting nervous glances over at gramps, swigging water, rinse and repeat. Seo-jin finds a seat on the subway and offers it to Il-sub halbae, and you know he’s pissy because he refuses it a few times before being convinced to take it.
girlfriday: Oh phew, I was scared he’d refuse to sit. But then we get this whole montage of the difference between Il-sub halbae With Chair and Without Chair, and it’s like night and day: smile, frown, smile, frown.
javabeans: When they get off at their stop, Sunny worries about finding her way, but Seo-jin is all smiles now that it’s not his responsibility. And then tense, dramatic music starts to play as Sunny refers to her phone, and gahhhh now I’m all wound up and nervous for her. What if they get lost? Imma be honest, I had to skip forward to see how it ends before I could continue.
girlfriday: Haha. I’m actually less nervous for her, because she has aegyo to fall back on. Seo-jinnie had none of that.
javabeans: The thing is, she’s actually genuinely worried so her aegyo starts to disappear, and then she whispers to Seo-jin, “Emergency!” Acccck. Turns out they’re just off by one block, but they have to double back first and she’s so tense that she stops talking for a while. Of course, I understand this is totally all editing, which is why it’s so funny, because the show turns a tiny deal into A Catastrophe, but the suspense is real!
girlfriday: Yeah it’s all in the build-up, because they measure Il-sub halbae’s growing agitation in degrees (there’s now a handy measuring scale for it on the show, like when he’s at 80% and 95%) and you really get the sense that if ONE more thing happened, he’d blow like a volcano. But once they get on the right street and Seo-jin takes the lead, Sunny has the presence of mind to walk next to Il-sub halbae and get him talking, and in no time he’s back to smiles.
javabeans: They enjoy their dinner, peace is restored, and we can relax now. There’s this bit when the halbaes notice the camera that’s been placed on the Lazy Susan facing them, and Gu halbae casually slides the turntable so it’s facing away… and then Il-sub halbae sends it back at him ’cause he doesn’t want it staring at him either. It becomes this thing, and they’re just turning the Lazy Susan onward and onward, and then turning the camera around and back…
girlfriday: Is it funny because they’re drunk? It seems to take Gu halbae a while to figure out that there are two of them, because when he turns the Lazy Susan and the camera shows up again, he’s so confused. Ha.
javabeans: Sunny takes a drink from the halbaes and gets the Gu halbae thumbs-up, while Il-sub halbae chirps, “I can’t help but fall for her!” Because of the soju. HA.
girlfriday: Hee. You can’t roll with these halbaes if you can’t hold your likker!
javabeans: Haha, at some point the show started labeling Seo-jin as Sunny’s manager, which might be the more appropriate role actually. He’s half-thrilled that Sunny is such a hit, and then, you sort of start to hear a bit of envy in his voice too—like how the halbaes never talked this much with him, and how they keep feeding her but never paid attention to him, and how he’s been shooting this interview during dinner and not once have the others looked for him. LOL.
girlfriday: I know. It’s adorable. He’s over at Na PD’s table and they’re both like, What is this strange new atmosphere? What show are we on?
javabeans: In addition to just being likable, Sunny is smart enough to find a point of commonality by saying that her dad likes this too, her dad does that too, and then all of a sudden Il-sub halbae and Sunny have decided to be father-daughter and he’s calling her “daughter o’ mine.” And in interviews she calls him “Baek Il-sub father” instead of teacher.
girlfriday: Oh the power of soju. It’s like, you’d blink and miss it, the moment where they share a drink and suddenly become father-daughter.
javabeans: Haha, then Seo-jin tells them that Sunny is leaving in the morning, and there’s actually this cartoon-like moment when Il-sub halbae freezes, all, “WHAT.”
girlfriday: HAHA. It takes Il-sub halbae all of two seconds to declare: “Don’t go! I can’t live without Sunny!”
javabeans: They call over Na PD and start this whole spiel about how it’s a terrible thing to make a busy girl just pop in and out for one day, how she should take one more day. The halbaes are all eager to keep her and are like, “Get your agency on the line!” Seo-jin helpfully provides the name of her CEO, Lee Soo-man (yunno, the SM of SM) and Il-sub halbae goes, “Yeah, get Soo-mannie on the line!”
girlfriday: Pffffft. Omg, this is hilarious. They’re like, that young whippersnapper? Get him on the line! After dinner (and lots of drinks) the group heads out for mango shaved ice, and Seo-jin actually starts to stress about how happy Sunny has made the halbaes: “What am I supposed to do when you leave?”
javabeans: It’s totally a valid concern, too. Remember when they were sweating without him and just happy to have him back? Now they’re gonna be all, “Why can’t you be fast like Sunny? She picked the good restaurants. Sunny would have gotten us there better.”
girlfriday: I know. It’s like, you raise expectations and suddenly nothing is good enough. I’m scared for him, but also kind of looking forward to the fallout. *evil laugh*
javabeans: You know, I’m just thinking how serendipitous it was for the show that the girl group member Seo-jin likes most just happened to also be really friendly and good with a smartphone (and also, with elders). What if he picked someone who was all helpless? Or worse, bratty?
girlfriday: Oh god. That would be a nightmare.
javabeans: They find their way to the shaved ice place, and there’s a brief fraught moment when they see that the line is a monster. Flashback to the Louvre line incident. Il-sub halbae has been talking about shaved ice this whole time, but he takes one look at that line and says, “Let’s go.” Ha. It’s a huge relief that Seo-jin spots a much shorter line for take-out, so they’re in and out in short order after all.
girlfriday: They get to take the staff bus back (thank goodness) and Seo-jin goes right back to complaining to Na PD about what he’s supposed to do when Sunny leaves. He quotes Il-sub halbae’s “I can’t help but love you” line, gaping that he probably hasn’t said words like that since he was doing melodramas thirty years ago.
javabeans: The halbaes are all cheery and singing (singing!) and Sunny’s all, “What’s so hard about this? Everyone’s in such a good mood.” Seo-jin can only laugh-cry, “If you leave tomorrow, I’m dead.”
girlfriday: It’s funny because she thinks this is all normal, and the whole day Seo-jin’s like, I’ve never seen anything like this before.
javabeans: There are some truly laugh-out-loud two-shots during this bus ride, of Sunny laughing and singing and Seo-jin cringing with head in hand. Flashback to Europe when the halbaes asked Seo-jin to sing, and he was all, “No no, I couldn’t.”
girlfriday: They get back to the guesthouse and dig into the mango shaved ice, and I’m so jealous right now. It looks SO delicious.
javabeans: She heads to bed, while the halbaes sit down for more drinks with some of the staff, and give love advice to the single head writer. Il-sub halbae is slurring drunk right now, and is all, You take a drink, see, and then you pretend to be all dizzy, and that’s how you get your man!
girlfriday: Hahaha. Best-intentioned worst advice ever. Later that night, a new crisis hits when Sunny’s manager says they won’t know for three or four hours if they can get a different plane ticket so she can stay another day. So then Na PD is literally sitting up till four in the morning, waiting to find out if she stays or goes.
javabeans: It’s pretty amazing that she gets to stay after all, since everyone was bracing themselves for the worst. In the morning, the halbaes are up first as usual, and we watch as Geun-hyung halbae tries to call the wife but can’t connect (graphic: Park Geun-hyung’s The Chaser) and calls her over and over until she picks up and is all, I’m in church. Lol.
girlfriday: He’s surprisingly needy. It’s cute.
javabeans: I think it’s worse because of her cancer remission fears, like the worst-case scenario his mind jumps to is that she’s in the hospital. Then he calls Soon-jae halbae next, and the show reminds us that we all almost forgot that he was slated to join them today.
girlfriday: Is he a day late because of the new sitcom? We rewind to the night before, where he’s now pretty effortlessly selca-ing his packing routine. He gets to the airport the next morning, and a PD hands him the guesthouse address that he has to get to on his own. He complains that the others should come greet him, but somehow I don’t think the others will be that worried about Soon-jae halbae finding his way.
javabeans: Sure enough, he lands and gets on his bus with no fuss… except then he nods off in his seat and we get a sudden shift in tone. Uh-oh, now we’re in dramatic panic mode and everything starts to look unsettling.
girlfriday: Oh no. You don’t suppose he’d miss his stop and end up on the other side of the country or something? Ack, the flash-forward looks like bad news.
javabeans: He gets to the station fine, but it’s one of those huge places that’s combination bus-train-subway depot, and he can’t find any signs for the subway. So he wanders, finding the other lines, but has no idea how to get where he needs. It’s a good thing Seo-jin calls him in time to point him in the right direction.
girlfriday: Thank goodness. It’s still killing me, watching him drag that bag around all by himself, but at least now we know he’s headed in the right direction. The rest of the group finally heads out, planning to meet Soon-jae halbae at the station. Geun-hyung halbae continues his dating agency activities, and turns to Seo-jin: “If Sunny calls Il-subbie “father,” then what does Seo-jinnie call him?” Gu halbae: “That’s obvious! Father-in-law!” Heh.
javabeans: They wait at the exit until Soon-jae halbae calls, and he’s all, “I’m here at the exit.” Different exits, of course, but at least it’s not too much of a twist because Seo-jin heads over to collect him and bring him to the others. Soon-jae halbae quizzes Sunny about her agency, and his first question is, “Does Soo-mannie pay you well?” Ha. They’re all, he’s actually her uncle, and Soon-jae halbae says, “Uncle is uncle, but you’ve still gotta be clear in your calculations.”
girlfriday: I love it. Age is power on this show. Once they’re on the bus, Na PD notices a familiar blank look on Seo-jin’s face, and asks where they’re getting off. He has no idea. Na PD: “Hyung, aren’t your screws a little too loose lately?”
javabeans: They arrive at the museum, but literally things come to a halt at the entrance because the cameras aren’t allowed inside. They’d known ahead of time that they’d be restricted to two cameras only, since the museum has never allowed a variety program in, but after a short wait they get the go-ahead to send in the whole crew after all, and Na PD introduces the woman who navigated a mountain of red tape with the tourism board to make it happen.
girlfriday: They make their way inside, and already Seo-jin is off to the side, flipping through his guidebook to plan for dinner reservations. Na PD starts to nag him about not showing an interest in the museum, and totally knocks him down with one blow: “Sunny can do it in five minutes, so what are you doing, you totally worthless human being?” HAHAHA.
javabeans: And it begins. To think, we thought the grandpas were gonna be the worst about that. Lesson: Never bet against Na PD.
girlfriday: I rewound that outburst twice.
javabeans: They marvel over some of the national treasures housed in the museum, which sparks the usually indifferent Il-sub halbae’s interest to a surprising degree. Meanwhile, Seo-jin starts to sweat trying to make dinner reservations and failing. Somewhat mockingly, the show gives us flashbacks to his assured and competent guiding back in Europe, and points out that he’s lost all his guide skills in the two days Sunny has been here. Then there’s a montage of Seo-jin worrying, over and over, “What happens when Sunny leaves? What’ll I do when Sunny leaves? What if Sunny leaves?”
girlfriday: Preview: halbaes sitting in silence, and Seo-jinnie with the thousand-yard stare.
- Lee Seung-gi to be Na PD’s next luggage boy
- Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 9
- Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 8
- Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 7
- Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 6
- Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 5
- Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 4
- Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 3
- Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 2
- Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 1